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SAP to Acquire Digital Adoption Platform and AI Provider WalkMe

The News: On June 5, SAP announced that it intends to acquire Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) and AI provider WalkMe for US$1.5 billion. SAP stated that the WalkMe product will complement SAP’s previous business transformation management acquisitions Signavio and LeanIX. The companies expect the acquisition to close in 3Q2024. See the SAP press release for more information.

SAP to Acquire Digital Adoption Platform and AI Provider WalkMe

Analyst Take: As more users migrate to cloud and browser-based business applications, the WalkMe Digital Adoption Platform has shown that it can integrate those users’ data, actions, and intent across apps into unified business processes. WalkMe preserves secure access control and provides a basis for single-source-of-truth generative and prescriptive AI capabilities.

SAP has prioritized helping organizations with its complete digital transformation initiatives, largely because it has sought to drive its customers to its SAP S4/HANA cloud offering. Over the past year or so, SAP has acquired companies that help organizations gain more visibility and transparency around the business workflows and processes that are in use, and the acquisition of WalkMe will further enhance these capabilities by enabling a granular assessment of application usage and the use of generative AI, while also adding in-app guidance capabilities. Once fully integrated, SAP will have a robust set of tools that help its customers assess their current technology footprint, helping them shift to a more nimble cloud-based environment.

WalkMe and the Digital Adoption Platform

Today, browsers, and often Chrome or Chrome-derived browsers such as Edge, host the user interfaces of many enterprise applications. The data can live on-premise and on multiple clouds, so our business processes have become more challenging to connect and synchronize. Each organization uses a different collection of apps.

Through a combination of AI, rules, templates, and documentation, WalkMe lives over these apps and connects the UIs semantically. This layering allows you to automate a workflow over best-in-class, customizable, and tailored business tools while getting the guidance and actions to perform the entire process from the beginning to end.

Since WalkMe sits on top of browser-based tools, it can analyze how efficiently your employees use them. Does it take longer to add information than it should? Are specific fields particularly prone to input errors? You can use this information to redesign forms or offer usage guidance, including through WalkMe’s Generative AI. With WalkMe, SAP will now be both one of these essential business app providers and the glue that ties all the apps and processes together.

WalkMe Complements SAP’s Acquisition of Signavio and LeanIX

SAP has taken a strategic approach to acquisitions over the past year, adding Signavio and LeanIX to the company’s portfolio. Signavio provides business process management capabilities, and LeanIX offers organizations more visibility into their current IT landscape.

The addition of WalkMe’s digital adoption platform provides additional capabilities at a granular level, enabling organizations to examine application utilization levels, license allocations, and track and limit unauthorized generative AI use. Furthermore, the additional capabilities around in-app guidance provided through WalkMe’s AI assistant may also be used to improve SAP’s copilot Joule and help SAP’s users become more productive using SAP applications.

While Generative AI is getting most of the attention these days, and WalkMe is beginning to incorporate it well, prescriptive AI tells you what actions you should take. Increasingly, prescriptive AI directly performs the recommended actions. WalkMe is looking at the full range of AI capabilities, including prescriptive, which will mesh well with SAP’s existing solutions, including its Joule Generative AI Copilot. Both companies have deep AI expertise and this acquisition will deepen the joint AI foundation and state-of-the-art capabilities.

Key Takeaway

SAP’s planned acquisition of WalkMe validates the value of digital adoption platforms for users increasingly working across multiple browser-based business applications. The product will better integrate SAP’s applications with incumbent enterprise software such as SalesForce and ServiceNow.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The authors do not hold an equity position in any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other Insights from The Futurum Group:

WalkMe Posts Strong Q1 2024 Revenue and Earnings

AI in Context: WalkMe’s Workflow Automation Preps Users for AI Success

WalkMe Q4 2023: The Company Reaches a Record Profitability Milestone

Author Information

Dr. Bob Sutor has been a technical leader and executive in the IT industry for over 40 years. Bob’s industry role is to advance quantum and AI technologies by building strong business, partner, technical, and educational ecosystems. The singular goal is to evolve quantum and AI to help solve some of the critical computational problems facing society today. Bob is widely quoted in the press, delivers conference keynotes, and works with industry analysts and investors to accelerate understanding and adoption of quantum technologies. Bob is the Vice President and Practice Lead for Emerging Technologies at The Futurum Group. He helps clients understand sophisticated technologies in order to make the best use of them for success in their organizations and industries. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University at Buffalo, New York, USA. More than two decades of Bob’s career were spent in IBM Research in New York. During his time there, he worked on or led efforts in symbolic mathematical computation, optimization, AI, blockchain, and quantum computing. He was also an executive on the software side of the IBM business in areas including middleware, software on Linux, mobile, open source, and emerging industry standards. He was the Vice President of Corporate Development and, later, Chief Quantum Advocate, at Infleqtion, a quantum computing and quantum sensing company based in Boulder, Colorado USA. Bob is a theoretical mathematician by training, has a Ph.D. from Princeton University, and an undergraduate degree from Harvard College.

He’s the author of a book about quantum computing called Dancing with Qubits, which was published in 2019, with the Second Edition scheduled for release in April 2024. He is also the author of the 2021 book Dancing with Python, an introduction to Python coding for classical and quantum computing. Areas in which he’s worked: quantum computing, AI, blockchain, mathematics and mathematical software, Linux, open source, standards management, product management and marketing, computer algebra, and web standards.

Keith has over 25 years of experience in research, marketing, and consulting-based fields.

He has authored in-depth reports and market forecast studies covering artificial intelligence, biometrics, data analytics, robotics, high performance computing, and quantum computing, with a specific focus on the use of these technologies within large enterprise organizations and SMBs. He has also established strong working relationships with the international technology vendor community and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events.

In his career as a financial and technology journalist he has written for national and trade publications, including BusinessWeek, CNBC.com, Investment Dealers’ Digest, The Red Herring, The Communications of the ACM, and Mobile Computing & Communications, among others.

He is a member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP).

Keith holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Magazine Journalism and Sociology from Syracuse University.

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